The Australian Greens’ aged care policy – launched this week – includes a commitment to ensure that aged care is provided on a not-for-profit basis.

Entitled Aged Care for All, the four-page document features seven key pledges — one of which is to phase out for-profit aged care providers.

The document reads:

“Aged care should not be run for profit. As the royal commission showed, privatisation has been a disaster for older people and their families who need aged care. Looking after our older citizens is a public service, not an opportunity for billionaires and big corporations to make super-profits. The Greens are committed to phasing out for-profit providers and ensuring aged care is provided on a not-for-profit basis.”

In a statement, Greens leader Adam Bandt said: “Big corporations are making over a billion dollars a year in profits in aged care. The public shouldn’t be buying Maseratis for aged care corporate executives.”

The privatisation of aged care has failed, said Mr Bandt. “Aged care shouldn’t be run for profit. It should be run for people. Big corporations are profiting from the misery of the elderly, and it has to stop,” continued the statement. “By clawing back big corporate profits, we can give our elders the quality of life they deserve.”

According to the 2020-21 Report on the Operation of the Aged Care Act – as of 30 June 2020 – for-profit providers held 41 per cent of operational residential aged care places and delivered 30 per cent of home care packages.

Policy launch

The Greens unveiled its aged care policy initiative on the New South Wales mid-north coast, where it was announced the party would provide the sector an additional $6 billion a year on top of the Federal Government’s $18.8 billion royal commission response package.

Tuesday’s election campaign event was held outside Anglican Care’s Cedar Wharf Lodge in Bulahdelah, which is scheduled for closure at the end of May.

Recording a video Facebook post at the event, NSW Senate candidate David Shoebridge said the extra money would be invested in – among other things – small, not-for profit facilities “so people can age in place in towns like Bulahdelah and we can keep this nursing home open.”

The other six pledges contained in the Greens’ aged care policy document are:

  • increasing hours of care from an average two hours and 50 minutes of care per resident per day to four hours and 18 minutes per resident per day
  • better conditions for aged care workers – including a workers’ wage increase of 25 per cent and minimum training requirements
  • a human rights-based approach to aged care, underpinned by a new Aged Care Act  
  • ending physical and chemical restraints
  • improving transparency and accountability.

The $6 billion extra a year earmarked for the sector will be funded by a billionaires’ tax which will – according to the Greens’ manifesto – introduce an annual extra 6 per cent wealth tax on Australia’s billionaires.

Referring to the workforce wages case currently before the Fair Work Commission, whose hearings begin next week, Greens aged care spokesperson Senator Janet Rice said in a statement: “Aged care workers need a permanent pay rise. A couple of one-off payments conveniently timed right before an election doesn’t cut it.”

Australian Ageing Agenda contacted Senator Rice’s office for comment on a couple of occasions, but received no reply.

Main image: Adam Bandt

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8 Comments

  1. So, so disappointing.
    The Labour Party has acknowledged and announced publicly that Aged Care is a ‘NIGHTMARE!’ Refer Jason Clare on ABC tv 22/04/2022.
    The Government is at the cricket.
    Clearly, this Green party has a very poor knowledge of the Aged Care situation.
    Voters – do not be misled with this sketchy policy.
    This is clearly another weak ‘throw at the stumps’.
    Ca$h is the focus here once again – dollar$ do not automatically result in an improvement of quality and safety – the control and management by these providers requires immediate attention – it starts at the top.
    ‘Not for profit’, ‘Government’, ‘Faith-based’ & ‘For profit’ organisations were/are all responsible for the continuing and disgraceful standards in RAC. Nothing has changed since the Royal Commission.
    Our GP arranged for the removal of one of our family members from a RAC due to the lack of safety and the standard of care. This was a ‘faith- based, not for profit’ organisation’ – enough said!… Do not be misled.

  2. While I agree with their sentiment, many not-for-profit places are not even breaking even they are actually making losses which cannot be sustained,

    If you asked many people they would NOT know the difference between “A For Profit” organisation or “A Not for Profit Organisation”.

  3. The “Greens” need to better understand the aged care system. The “Not for Profit” Providers” associated with the Catholic Health do not live up to their “Model for Care”
    The Greens need to do their home work, and then they may find that the “Not for Profit” providers are worse then some others.

  4. Unsurprisingly, the Greens aged care policy is long on ideology, but short on realism.

    They are going to put an additional $6 billion a year into aged care by introducing a “billionaires tax” and making big corporations making “excessive profits”, whatever that means, to pay a “corporate super profits tax”.

    If we want our billionaires and big corporations to move offshore, that might do the trick.

    And they are going to “phase out for-profit aged care providers”. Really! Haven’t they read the Aged Care Royal Commission transcripts? If they had, they would know there have been just as many failings with not-for-profits as there have been with the for-profits.

    The Greens seem to miss the point that the problems besetting aged care exist across the whole sector, and are not confined to any particular ownership type.

    By the way, as at June 2020, private sector residential aged care providers were valued at $4.7 billion in total net assets. Do the Greens propose to buy them all out with public money? If not, what is their plan for phasing them out?

  5. I love when The Greens propose a policy (which has been fully independently costed already) everyone jumps up and down about “where the money will come from”, even though it’s highly unlikely it’s coming out of their pocket – after all, it’s a tax on BILLIONAIRES, who incidentally, currently pay LESS tax annually, than I do AS AN AGED CARE WORKER! Yet when LNP announce new policies, no one bats an eyelid, even though it’s more than likely coming directly from the taxpayer’s pocket instead! Where does this blatant double-standard continually arise from??? Does anyone actually look at this article and the proposed policies and say “our elderly citizens would not be better off with this from The Green’s” or “our elderly do not deserve this”? Seriously? What is wrong with people?

  6. Clearly most of the previous commentary who are bagging out nfp providers haven’t read the full article which goes on to talk about lifting standards throughout, including increased staff ratios and pay.

  7. The Green Party – We will ensure the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commissioner acts as an independent, strong regulator that resolves complaints in a timely manner.

    How?

  8. I own a nursing home..put your money where your mouth is Greens and buy me out! Lol.
    Green policy comes with pictures and thought balloons… comical.

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